One of the most important things we do in advising Brave Supplicants is to help them figure out which schools to apply to. Sometimes it’s telling them they just don’t have much of a chance at a school they’re all starry-eyed about; other times it’s suggesting other schools that weren’t on their radar, but that seem to be a good fit for them, based on what we know about them, and about the school.
That latter bit happened last year when we were doing a profile review with a Brave Supplicant – we suggested he consider School X, which he had not even thought about applying to.
Here’s how it all turned out (school names are hidden to preserve anonymity):
Just thought I would give you an update. During my last email to you I was debating whether I should turn down the GoodSchool admit with scholarship in favor of a School X admit with no $. I did end up turning down GoodSchool as I honestly got a MUCH better vibe during my School X campus visit than I did at GoodSchool.
Unfortunately I got rejected from TopSchool. But on the bright side I did get into GreatSchool and VeryGoodSchool. I narrowed it down to choosing between GreatSchool and School X. For the last week I have been struggling with this decision but to be honest it wasn’t too much of a struggle since I was always leaning towards School X. Barring GreatSchool randomly throwing a full scholarship at me over the next day or two, I think I will be going to School X in the fall.
This brings me to another point. It is scary for me to think that I would not even have applied to the school I will likely end up going to if it wasn’t for you mentioning it way back when I first contacted you (thanks again for that btw). And I am also finally understanding why you said GreatSchool wasn’t an “obvious choice” for me. I think OtherSchool, rather than GreatSchool, would have been a better choice for me to apply to, but that is water under the bridge. I honestly feel like there need to be more resources for international students living outside the U.S. to get a better understanding of the concept and importance of “fit” before applying to b-schools. When I first thought of applying I had no idea about the cultures of different schools and “fit” wasn’t a top priority. I think a lot of applicants start in the same position, but it is worse for international students living abroad as without the benefit of campus visits, they probably have a harder time figuring it out before applying.
Sorry for the rant, just something I had been thinking of recently. Please don’t take this to mean I am unhappy with the outcome or anything. I am absolutely ecstatic about getting into all these places and finally deciding on going to School X!! Now just crossing my fingers that there are no hiccups with loan processing or visas etc.
And thanks again for helping me through the application process.
You’re welcome, former BSer! You had a strong profile and a lot to offer to these schools, and we’re pleased to have played a role in your process. And we certainly appreciate the importance of school fit as well. Doing the research on these programs can be challenging. If you’re unsure about whether you’re targeting the right programs, given your specific profile and goals, we can help! Check out the Comprehensive Profile Review for an inexpensive way to get an independent assessment of your chances and your plans.